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January 11, 2017

Pennsylvania man hopes tragic photo of brother will help other addicts

'This is the real face of drug use'

An Allentown man hopes a tragic photo of his sibling, lost to drug addiction, will help give strength to others trying to battle the deadly disease.

Tristen Miller's Monday Facebook post about his brother Tyler Hillanbrand has been shared nearly 1,200 times as of Wednesday morning. "An addict's final ride," Miller wrote. "This is the real face of drug use."

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Miller told WFMZ that Hillanbrand, who went to rehab three times over the past three years, died from a heroin overdose on Monday. The picture in Miller's post is of Hillanbrand being carried away "in a body bag," Miller told the news station.

Hillanbrand attended Parkland High School, according to his Facebook page. Several people posted to his page on Tuesday to share their grief over his death.

Drug overdose deaths have been on the rise in Pennsylvania, and they skyrocketed in 2015 with 3,383 deaths, compared to 2,742 in 2014, according to federal data. Heroin was identified in 55 percent of the reported deaths in 2015.

"This isn't easy to look at but it had to be shared," Miller wrote in his post. "If you know someone that struggles with addiction please call them Today, Tomorrow and Every Day until they get the help they need."

Miller told WFMZ that he hopes his post will encourage those struggling with addiction, as well as their friends and families, to keep fighting the disease.

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